Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 8

Scripture is clear about the matter. Conditional salvation is a falsity embraced by every religion from Roman Catholics to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it is not biblical. What comfort, assurance, or hope is in this doctrine? This is not the liberty Christ has called us out to! “[God] has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have (present tense) redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Colossians 1:13-14.

“The Lord said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans,’” Hosea 3:1. The immutable promise of God has not failed Israel. There is a remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5) which is not based on any works man does (verse 6). This verse is implicit about the fact the adding works to salvation (being saved or staying saved) turns it into work, not grace. We know all Israel will yet be saved (Romans 11:26), for all the promises of God in Christ are YES and in Him are AMEN, to the glory of God through us, 2nd Corinthians 1:20; also see Romans 11:29. The Lord knows those who are His (2nd Timothy 2:19), and those who are His will never perish, John 10:28-29. “Has God cast away His people? Certainly not!…God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew…I say then, have [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not!” Romans 11:1-2, 11. If God is so faithful with Israel to fulfill what He promised to Abraham and David thousands of years prior, despite their infidelity, then He fulfills His word for His own sake. You are saved, and remain saved, because Christ died in your stead. The Father promised the Son that, “He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied,” Isaiah 53:11.

What glory does this doctrine bring to the Father? What does it bring to the Son, except to reveal the inadequacy of His office and sacrifice? It brings much glory to fallen man, who apparently does get to become a partner in eternal salvation after all which salvages our pride. God’s condescending grace should bring us down into the dust to confess our lack of worth. Only those who lack all merit may be recipients of God’s salvation. I have only written this for anyone who believes this teaching out of love and genuine concern for your soul. Righteous Daniel was renown for his piety, yet in his prayer he said this: “We do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies,” Daniel 9:18. It’s folly to teach that our righteousness can mingle with God's, or that the sealing of the Spirit is only for those who practice obedience.

As food for thought: If conditional salvation is true then proponents of this doctrine are in fact not saved. I say this because if you stand in constant jeopardy of falling away then Jesus has not saved you from anything. At best, one would have to admit that Jesus died to create a "probationary period" by which, through our own efforts, we attain salvation. Salvation in this sense may only be obtained upon death. There is no assurance of being saved, even by believing on Jesus Christ for eternal life. Did Jesus die to give eternal life to those who believe in Him? Or did He die to grant you the opportunity to bring yourself into heaven? "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit (faith alone), are you now being made perfect by the flesh (i.e. your efforts)?"

A challenge has been laid down that eternal security is not taught in the Bible. This is untrue and harmful to our faith. Either Jesus, the object of our faith, is keeping us or we, through our faith, are keeping ourselves. If conditional salvation is true, the latter must also be true. “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us,” Romans 8:33-34. Faith is trust in Christ to save you from what you cannot save yourself from; it is the opposite of works. Making obedience a condition for the retention of our salvation impugns God’s offer and begets legalism; the Pharisees from the gospels are a fine example of this mentality, Luke 18:9-14. Conditional salvation can only be a reality if God needs our participation in the process of salvation. If walking/obeying in the Spirit is required, then salvation is man’s reward for a duty rendered, and anyone “falling away” proves unworthy. It is the unspoken assumption that something in us is intrinsically worthy, and God has entrusted a measure of our eternal destiny to us, not wholly to Christ, the Author (or Beginner) and Finisher of our faith, Hebrews 12:2. God grant us understanding and growth in His word, to rightly divide it. Amen.

22 comments:

  1. The Protestant Doctrine of Eternal Security.

    A Psychological Trap.

    The Protestant doctrine of eternal security is a psychological trap, and one that is all too easy to fall into. By providing a quick, simplistic answer as to how we are saved, and giving the person the comfort of assured eternal salvation, it discourages further inquiry into the fullness of the truth on this most important matter.

    This rather fast assurance of salvation helps to make Protestantism very popular. My personal feeling is that many people in the silent or quiet moments of their lives must know in their hearts that this fast, simplistic assurance of eternal salvation is too good to be true (Romans 2:14-16).

    The natural law, the law written on our hearts of flesh, is calling us to seek the fullness of the truth in the Church founded by Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 29:11-13) (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).

    Playing With Fire.

    Many people in following the 16th century reformers are deliberately choosing to reject Catholic Church authority and the channels of grace available to them in the seven (7) Sacraments.

    If they knowingly and wilfully did this, on such an important matter, they could find out (perhaps to late) that it will be more difficult for them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

    God will respect their free will and the decisions they made, along with the grace and truth that they have received, and will place them in the proper eternal location or condition.

    The more grace and truth that they have received the more that will be expected from them (Luke 7: 47; 12: 48). Perhaps they feel they can live life their way, using their freedom to choose the truth when they want to, or abuse their freedom by choosing to do evil (Contraception, abortion, etc.) when they find it convenient.

    You are only free to choose the good. Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your spirit, and then do what you will.

    Many people joining a "church" (faith communities) for convenience of life style, are "choosing not to know" the fullness of the truth in the Catholic Church.

    They hope that they can somehow claim ignorance (or say it was controversial) and therefore escape culpability on their individual day of judgment.

    Feigned ignorance will not allow anyone to escape culpability ( proverbs 24: 11-12 ). This is like playing with fire.

    They choose not to turn and come closer to the fullness of the truth, which is a person Jesus Christ and who also is one with His Spouse, the Church (Ephesians 5: 32).

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  2. In response to your comment, please allow me to quote scripture that I have found edifying and insightful on the topic.
    "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified," Hebrews 10:10-14.
    "The gospel of Jesus Christ...is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes," Romans 1:16.
    "You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace," Galatians 5:4.
    "He who believes in [Christ] is not condemned...He who believes in the Son has everlasting life," John 3:18, 36.
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast," Ephesians 2:8-9.
    Protestant doctrine, as you name it, is biblical dotrine in this regard. We are saved by faith; we are saved the moment we believe (it is a present possession); works cannot save, and no particular church holds any keys or sacraments to man's salvation. Rome has perverted the gospel with a thousand human inventions, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. Paul called the salvation found in Christ "simplicity." There is nothing more simple than, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved," Acts 16:31. Adding to grace destroys it.
    Either God saves us, as the Bible declares He does, or man saves himself, which the Bible states is impossible. There is no middle ground on this issue; we come to God through faith in Christ, and no one who comes through the Son is cast out, John 6:37.
    The Bible is our only authority. God gave it to us to live by, so we may know the truth that sets us free, John 8:31-32.
    I am no Protestant; I am a Christian, and that is the only title I will ever wear. God be praised for His beautfiul mercy in giving us Christ as Savior! God grant you clarity of spirit, friend.

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  3. Dear Ian,

    Is Half of The Story Sufficient For Salvation?

    How many sides are there to a story? If you say two, then you are wrong. If you had one side and I had one side that would make two sides. However, there is a third side, the side of truth.

    Rule # 1... One half of truth does not a truth make. Neither does one half of a story make the full story. No intelligent person can hear one side of a story and decide which side has the truth.

    Both sides have to be heard, then analysed, and then a decision has to be made as to which side (if either) has a valid story, and after that, the right side(s), or truth side, can be determined.

    This thinking holds true for discerning what Holy Scripture tells us.

    Throughout the Bible there are double standards, yet the fundamentalist thinking shows only one standard, or one side of the story, or only one half of the truth.

    Their thinking is in violation of rule # 1. With only one half of truth, you do not have truth. Anything less than the whole truth is error.

    In the following examples, side 'A' is the first side, side 'B' is the second, and side 'C' is the right, or truth side.

    Example # 1... Sola Scriptura...? Only the Bible. Fundamentalist thinking is that the Bible is sufficient and nothing else is needed for salvation.

    First of all, in order to believe in the 'Bible Only' philosophy, you have to show that Scripture says it. Is that not true? The doctrine of 'Sola Scriptura' is not to be found in Scripture.

    A. Tradition is condemned in many places in Scripture, such as Job 22:15, Matthew 15:6, Mark 7:3-13, Galatians 1:14, Colossians 2:8, 1Timothy 1:4, Titus 1:14, and 1Peter 1:18. Look at these verses and grasp their meaning.

    They all address 'vain' human traditions and are rightly condemned. This is one half of the truth.

    B. Tradition is supported in more places in Scripture than it is condemned. Study Isaiah 59:21, Luke 1:2, 2:19,51, Luke 10:16, 2Thessalonians 2:14-15 - "Stand firm and hold the traditions you have learned..", 2Timothy 1:13,2:2, 1Peter 1:25, 1Jn 1:1,2:24, 2Jn 1:12, Revelation 12:17,19:10.

    These are different traditions than mentioned in 'A'. These are the Traditions of GOD, or 'Apostolic' Tradition.' Again, this is only half of the truth.

    C. The truth is, yes, we do condemn the vain tradition of men, as shown in 'A', and we must keep the Tradition of GOD, as shown in 'B'.

    Thus we have half the truth in 'A', and the other half in 'B', and combined we have the full truth.

    The false doctrine of Sola Scriptura adds A and B together and puts the total in A, rejecting all of tradition. A+B=C.

    Continue>>

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  4. Good sir,
    if what you state holds true, then Peter telling us that God's knowledge (revealed to us in scripture) holds all things that pertain to life and godliness is false, 2nd Peter 1:3. The Bereans were mistaken for searching only the scriptures of the Old Testament (not rabbinic tradition) to see if Paul's message was true, Acts 17:11. The warning in Revelation 22:18 not to add to God's word was also false. The Bible is God's clear and inspired message of salvation in Jesus Christ; there is no other, nor will there ever be.

    My friend, I have learned of Rome, and how prayers to saints, the worship of Mary, her immaculate heart as perpetual virgin mother, making of idols, confession and purgatory, the mistreatment of the Eucharist and water baptism, wearing of medals and scapulars, papal infallibility, an elite priesthood, et al. have been incorperated into the Christian faith, so as to make it unrecognizable.

    Rome and the Bible are opposites; one preaches that salvation is an unfinished work man must partake in; the other teaches that Jesus Christ died to perform this work, which man cannot do. Not one of the items listed above can be taught from Scripture; it is only logical then that Rome created new authority and tradition to back what they have made.

    Eternal life is God's gift to man through faith in Jesus Christ; there are about 200 verses in the New Testament that say as much. The Popes profess to descend from a lineage that instigated the Crusades and the Inquisitions, many such Popes being villains to an extreme.

    Perhaps you only read the history of the Romish church from your own personal bias; and ignore its blatant evils. Would that you seek genuine salvation. Paul explained it well:

    It is the gospel which he preached, and by which we must believe to be saved. That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the sciptures, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. There is no salvation outside of Christ; nor is there truth outside His word, the Bible. If you seek eternal life, turn in faith to the One who died for you, and believe that the death He died was for your sins, so that you may be saved, and you may know that you have eternal life. We may know we are saved forever. This is from the God of all comfort, who died our death so we do not have to suffer the penalty our sins demand.
    I'll pray for you, my friend.

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  5. Dear Ian,

    "FOR THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN AGAINST ALL UNGODLINESS AND WICKEDNESS OF THOSE MEN WHO IN WICKEDNESS HOLD BACK THE TRUTH OF GOD."
    (ROMANS 1:18)

    That verse by itself should deter any GOD loving person from spreading malicious lies... But there is much more to come. Read on...

    You claim to follow the Bible and all of its teachings? If so, you had better not spread lies and calumnize others.

    Make sure of what you speak is truth only, and not some false teaching you received from a secondary source.

    If you want to find the truth about something you have to go to the source and not to someone outside of that source who may be biased.

    If you want to learn the truth of what the Catholic Church teaches, then go to the source.

    Purchase a Catholic Catechism, or Google "Catechism search" for an online Catechism search engine, for which there are many.

    A few reasons why some people would rather not search for the truth...

    They have a closed mind.

    They are afraid of what they may find.

    They have a fear of the unknown.

    They are set in their ways and fear change.

    Their pride is greater than their desire for the truth. It is human nature, not to want to admit to a mistake.

    They have a habit of automatically condemning something of which they know nothing.

    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, "Not many men want to die to their lower selves; it costs so much. Some prefer to have a cosmic religion, which NEITHER PUTS RESTRAINT ON THEIR PRIDE NOR CURBS THEIR PASSIONS."

    They would not consider learning the truth of the Catholic Church because they would have to give up some part of their lifestyle, such as using contraceptive measures.

    I have heard of several non-Catholics who would have to give up their livelihood, as they are ministers, or gain their livelihood from Church services.

    Family and peer pressures prevent them from seeking the truth. Remember, GOD comes first in the lives of all of us. (Exodus 20:2-3)

    One highly educated non-Catholic minister stated that he became Catholic after realizing five things about the Catholic Church: Its Authority, its Antiquity, its Unity, its Liturgy, and its Sacraments.

    Now that I have shown you what Scripture says that you must do,
    I will leave you with your conscience. You have to make the decision.

    A man may blaspheme against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but the sin against the Spirit of Truth -- what can God Himself do with or for the man who will not
    acknowledge the truth he knows, or follow the light he sees?

    ... Alexander Miller, The Renewal of Man

    The person who spreads lies risks losing his or her soul. "If I had two souls, I could risk one, but since I have only one, I must save it."
    Saint Thomas More...

    "Truth has always bothered people and is never comfortable."
    Cardinal Ratzinger, October 9, 2000
    However, He who has refused to acknowledge the truth in life will be forced to confront it in death.

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  6. Honestly, I do thank you for your concern on my behalf,if it is sincere. But if I did not feel led to speak the truth, I would never have began this Blog for fear of misleading those who might listen to what I am saying.

    Yet I am confident and convinced that the Bible is the complete and only word of God, and no man may add to it, no matter how ancient their denomination, or what grandeur they possess.

    I have indeed studied Roman Catholicism from numerous sources (men both biased for and against it). I have struggled to understand it, and lament and wonder why the Romish Church deviated so far from the truth.

    I am afraid there are not two sides to this truth; the law of non-contradiction states two contradictory ideas cannot both be true. I would apply this to any religion that makes rival claims to the Bible.

    The Bible states that Christ's sacrifice was singular and unrepeatable in no uncertain terms. Rome disputes this by offering the unbloody sacrifice of the Eucharist.

    Christ said that His kingdom was not of this earth and that we should pray for our enemies and bless those who misuse us. Rome persecuted with fire anyone who dissented from their doctrine; especially the Eucharist. This isn't a bias...this is history!

    The gospel is clearly stated by Christ and Paul; it is likewise clearly stated that anyone who belives it will be saved. Paul states that adding ANYTHING to the gospel perverts it. Rome has added many things besides faith in Christ and His accomplishment at Calvary.

    The Bible clearly states that a man is only justified by His faith in Christ; works cannot mingle with grace, and anything besides faith is a work. Rome states that men may do good works, stay faithful to the church, perform penance, etc to merit salvation.

    God tells us that every believer may come to Him directly through Christ with no other mediation; every believer is a saint and priest to God. Rome erects an elite clergy class and is unashamed to state that salvation cannot be had outside the true church.

    There is no salvation outside of faith in the Son of God, but Rome tries to steal His rightful place as the exclusive dispenser of salvation.

    I have personally known Roman Catholics embittered with their church and their faith; in fact I have met a startling amount. They find the truth of the gospel a refreshing wind of liberty.

    Rome's teachings are not congruent with scripture, and one cannot denigrate scripture to conform to human teachings.

    Therefore my friend, the choice is really yours to make: will you choose the Bible, and the God of the Bible, as your only authority in the matter of eternal salvation? If so, He says that faith in His Son saves you; it is the only criteria to receive the "free gift" of eternal salvation, and you receive it forever, for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.

    It's a mockery to call eternal life a free gift if you must even partially earn it, and again this is not what God's word teaches.
    If you stay with Rome's bishop you imperil your eternal welfare, and I pray that you do not do this!

    Come to Jesus and receive life as a free gift; He is willing to freely give you what you are trying to earn! The sole criteria is that you come in faith, believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins (and paid for them), that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day. That if you believe in your heart this gospel YOU WILL BE SAVED.

    No church mediates or dispenses a grace salvation that is God's exlcusive gift to give to whomsoever He will.

    Rome belittles the grace of God, and the power of His Holy Spirit to save and preserve sinful men and women. Please do not let church bias (we all possess biases) turn you away from His invitation. Prayerfully yours, Ian.

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  7. Paul states that adding ANYTHING to the gospel perverts it.

    Dear Ian,
    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (2Timothy 4:3-4)

    SOLA FIDES... The Protestant Revolt had many causes including state politics. Also the worldly lifestyle of certain popes, bishops and priests of that time helped to fuel the fire.

    However, the doctrine,
    Justification by Faith Alone , was the spark.

    This heresy exaggerates the truth concerning salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Even though some members of the Church at that time, such as Tetzel and Erasmus, may not have fully understood the doctrine of salvation, this does not excuse this heresy.

    It claims that Christians are saved by faith alone. As biblical support, St. Paul is usually cited: "For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law." [Romans 3:28]

    Now this verse does not contain the word "alone." Martin Luther actually added "alone" to this verse in his Bibles in order to promote this new doctrine.

    According to the RSV and NAB Bible translations, the phrase, "by faith alone", only occurs once in the Bible, and that verse condemns this doctrine: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." [James 2:24]

    The other error is interpreting the "works of law" in Romans 3:28 as all good works.

    From the context, it is obvious that St. Paul is referring to the Law of Moses, and the "works of law" are circumcision, eating kosher and other Jewish practices (Acts 15:1-21).

    St. Paul writes elsewhere in the Bible: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love." [Galatians 5:6] St.

    Paul’s understanding of faith, as expressed in the Bible, includes more than a confident trust in God, but also obedience to God (Romans 1:5).

    Also according to Catholic understanding, good works are not what I do but what God does through me by grace (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Romans 2:7), so there is no reason to boast (Ephesians 2:9).

    Even though Martin Luther still understood salvation in terms of grace, some later Christians did not.

    With the loss of focus on grace, this heresy eventually led to a "faith-alone" version of Pelagianism.

    This is the reason that some (not all) Protestants reject some or all of the Sacraments, sometimes even Baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3; 1 Peter 3:21).

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  8. Dear Michael,
    Allow me to clarify my position, and why I am firmly convinced it is biblical.
    "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent," John 6:29.
    "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26.
    "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent," John 17:3.
    "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes," Romans 1:16.
    "That [God] might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus," Romans 3:26.
    "Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness," Romans 4:4-5.
    "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes," Romans 10:4.
    "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work," Romans 11:6.
    "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached (sole criteria, Romans 10:9-13, 17) to save those who believe," 1st Corinthians 1:21.
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast," Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is a gift; also see Romans 5:15; 6:23. Works follow salvation, Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:13-14. They are a witness that you ARE saved; not an effort to BE saved.
    "[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began," 2nd Timothy 1:9.
    "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us...having been justified by His grace," Titus 3:4-5, 7.
    "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God...Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1st John 5:1, 5.
    Dear friend, works have nothing to do with our with justification. Christ became sin for us (2nd Corinthians 5:21) so those who believe in Him receive forgiveness of all tresspasses (Colossians 2:13-14). Why? When Christ died on the cross, the payment for sin was made; those who approach God through faith in Christ receive justification, Acts 13:39; Romans 3:28; John 3:18.
    The argument here is not about what other men have said regarding eternal salvation and how one receives it; the argument is what the Bible states about the matter. It is either faith or works. Belief in Christ makes one born again (John 1:12-13); belief in Him regenerates a believer and gives them the Holy Spirit, John 3:3; 7:38.
    Salvation occurs only once and we immediately possess eternal life; it is not a perpetual act we are working toward. Anyone who believes enters into life, John 5:24. The Bible so clearly teaches this it amazes me that many resist the wondrous grace of God.
    I have been commissioned as an ambassador of Christ, as though God was pleading through me, that you be reconciled to God on His terms (through saving faith in His Son), 2nd Corinthians 5:20. This commission was given to all believers.
    The Bible is our sole authority, and our only shield against error, being inspired by the Holy Spirit. My friend, I offer you an invitation to receive what I know I possess: eternal life in Jesus' name. You may likewise know, 1st John 5:13. It stems from simple, child-like faith in the One who promised. Your friend, Ian.

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  9. Dear Ian,

    Private interpretation of Scriptures can be exceedingly harmful to self and others. This has divided Christianity into hundreds if not tens of thousands of segments.

    Too many individuals claim their position is right and are unwilling to freely discuss the position taken or to be submissive to moral authorities.

    Holding to a personal position, or one of heretical source, places one's eternal soul in jeopardy. Such people often become instruments that lead others to perdition.

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  10. Dear Michael,
    I grieve that you believe justification by faith is heresy. The only moral authority I am absolutely accountable to is God; and the reason we possess His word is to weigh our conduct and belief by His word alone.

    You argue about my stubborn position, yet can you say differently? I argue from Scripture, and you argue from tradition. I see God's gift of salvation complete at Cavalry, offered to anyone who receives it in faith; you follow your church in believing that salvation is not received the moment one believes. Yet the Holy Spirit is only given to those who believe, Ephesians 1:13-14; Acts 10:44. He is the seal of our salvation, received only through faith, Galatians 3:2.

    Sin is only remitted through the shedding of blood, Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22. Nothing else satisfies God's justice: this is why Jesus died on the cross. He satisfied the demand of the law and paid the penalty that sin demanded from all men. Only our eternal death in the lake of fire, or Christ's death on the cross is an acceptable payment for sin.

    I fear this is our final correspondence. You once quoted that truth is uncomfortable; the foolishness of this gospel apparently makes you uncomfortable.
    What is the object of your faith, please ask yourself? Jesus, or the sacraments of Rome? If there was any way for men to earn God's favor Christ's prayer would have been answered; yet it wasn't. Faith in Christ alone is the command because through Him we freely receive what we cannot gain any other way. Before you disregard me, please consider my words. Your friend, Ian.

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  11. Dear Ian,

    Two Extremely Simple Questions
    For Non-Catholics to Answer.


    They are about as basic as you can get, and are both extremely important for your salvation. If they are so simple and are so basic, why then do non-Catholics refuse to answer them?

    Why don't you be the first to answer them with the truth?

    Question #1:

    Every church on earth had a founder with a name. Please name the founder of the Catholic Church? No guesses please, or personal opinions just the facts.

    Backup your answer with genuine historical documents and/or Bible verse(s).

    Question #2:

    After studying this page , please show me the Bible verse(s) which gave authority to anyone to found another church other than the one which Jesus Christ founded?

    Here are a few hints to make it even easier for anyone to come up with the correct answers:

    For Question #1:

    Acts 8:1-3,
    "And at that time, there was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem.

    And they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea, and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men took order for Stephen's funeral and made great mourning over him.

    But Saul made havoc of the church, entering in from house to house: and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison."


    So here we have Saul making havoc of the Church which Jesus Christ founded.

    It is obvious that Saul knew almost nothing about who the founder of that Church really was, or else he would not have been persecuting it.

    Acts 9:1-5,
    "And Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

    And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus. And suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him.

    And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad."


    So, Saul thought he was persecuting the Church that Jesus Christ founded, when in fact he was persecuting its founder.

    Saul found out the hard way. Do you wish to find out the hard way also?

    When you stand before Jesus Christ in judgment, do think He might ask you the same question that He asked Saul? "(substitute your name here) why persecutest thou me?"

    I strongly suggest that you who persecute the Catholic Church had better find out who founded it,
    that is if you value your salvation at all.

    For Question #2:

    Read these verses in your Bible:

    Psalms 127:1, 1Corinthians 3:11, John 10:1-2, John 10:16, 1Peter 4:17, 2Peter 2:1, 1Corinthians 14:33, Luke 11:23, 2John 1:9, and Romans 10:15.

    Now who will be the first non-Catholic to give me truthful answers to these two ever so simple and basic questions?

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  12. Dear Michael,
    Now I am afraid it is you who are guilty of eisegesis. In Acts 8 Jesus never states that Paul is persecuting the Roman Catholic faith. Nowhere in scripture are believers called Catholics, but Christians. Scripture is silent about Rome being the one true church on earth. To add that into Acts 8 is wishful thinking on your part, I am afraid.
    Luke 17:20-21 informs us that Jesus is building a spiritual kingdom. Worship will not be localized in any institution but will be entirely spiritual, John 4:21-24. Believers ARE the church! The universal church is Christ's body, Ephesians 1:22-23; He is the sole head. There is no vicar of Christ for the church universal, for there is one head, Christ, and all believers are brethren, Matthew 23:8-12. No human is to be titled "father." The local church is to be governed by elders and deacons appointed after they are tested and found worthy, 1st Timothy ch. 3. No single church usurps control over all churches on earth; nowhere is this concept found in scripture.
    Every bishop appointed in the times of the apostles was appointed over a particular church to govern them only so long as they remained steadfast in the faith.
    Apostolic succession and the Pope's infallibility are unbiblical. Even Peter, the supposed first Pope, erred greatly, Matthew 16:22-23; Galatians ch. 2.
    I have fairly answered you from scripture. Christ's church is added to every time someone hears the gospel and believes it unto salvation, Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13-14; John 6:47. Rome usurps authority it has no right to. So many Roman traditions cannot be defended from the Bible! Yet I stand amazed that you can accuse me of adding to the gospel of Christ. Is Catholicism truly the "narrow way" that leads to life which few find? Or the broad way which will lead to destruction that many go in by?
    God save you, but Rome does not teach the truth, and therefore I will not keep silent. Ian.

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  13. Dear Ian,

    The Church Is Catholic (Matthew 28:19–20, Revelation 5:9–10, CCC 830–856)
    Jesus’ Church is called catholic "universal" in Greek) because it is his gift to all people.

    He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of "all nations" (Matt. 28:19–20).

    For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family.(Galatians 3:28).

    Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).

    The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, "the Catholic Church," at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded.

    The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles.

    The Church Is Apostolic (Ephesians 2:19–20, CCC 857–86
    The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders.

    The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Timothy 2:2).

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  14. Dear Michael,
    There is a massive difference between the generic term "catholic" meaning universal (I concede the term in this regard) and the conjoined term "Roman Catholic." If you are using the simple term of catholic, then I agree the church may be defined as such; so long as it is understood that every believer who comes to God through Christ and is born again by faith is part of this universal/catholic church. I disagree if you insist that the term means "Roman Catholic."
    You still fail to give valid, scriptural reasons why Rome practices the peculiar rituals and sacraments the Bible does not sanction. Please allow me to name a few. To wit:

    The worship of Mary. This concept is absent in Scripture. Worship always belongs only to God.

    Prayers TO saints. Pope Benedict the xvi just issued an edict about choosing an intercessory saint to pray to; when the Bible states there is one intercessor: Christ. No biblical validation. The Pope asks his faithful to break the first and second commandmants, and tells them to commune with the dead; an act forbidden in scripture. Prayers, like worship, are directed solely to God.

    THe Eucharist is supposedly Christ's perpetual offering of Himself on Roman altars; yet Hebrews states plainly that Christ was offered once for all, and will NEVER be offered again.
    According to the Council of Trent, the writer of Hebrews should be anethama for stating such things.

    Praying the rosary offers the vain repetition that Jesus said Christians should not do. Again, prayers are many times not directed to Christ or the Father.

    You will search in vain to find scriptural support for such idolatrous activity; other religions possess many of them (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc), and so did the ancient mystery religions prior to Christianity.

    Not to mention that Rome has persecuted those who disagreed with her since her foundation, hundreds of years before Martin Luther was born. No apology, or even acknowledgement of wrong-doing, has ever been uttered.

    I believe you are avoiding my questions; do you stay in Rome because it is ancient? Time means nothing to God; and tradition means nothing to me if that tradition is not founded on the truth of God's word which is the Bible. I will continue to pray for you, Michael; but I feel that we are merely spinning our wheels to no end here. Your friend, Ian.

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  15. The worship of Mary. This concept is absent in Scripture. Worship always belongs only to God.

    Do Catholics worship Mary?
    Argument #1


    Pose this scenario to a fundamentalist.

    Theresa lives a very good life. She seldom, if ever misses Church on Sunday, doesn't curse, smoke or drink. She gives genoursly over her time and money to the poor. Theresa is a devoted and faithful wife and mother who has never stolen, murdered or committed adultery.

    This is not to say she is perfect, no one is. However, on balance, Theresa is a very decent person who tries her best to serve the Lord.

    There is just one thing. Theresa has never been 'saved' in the manner fundamentalists describe it. She has never actually said the specific words;

    "Jesus, I accept you today as my personal saviour".

    Bob is Theresa's husband. 30 years ago, Bob was saved at an altar call. He was a devoted Christian for about 10 years then started to backslide a bit.

    Now, 30 years later, Bob only goes to church at Easter and Christmas. He smokes, drinks to excess, and watches porn on his computer. Bob is currently having an affair on Theresa.

    Which of these 2 are 'saved'?

    If you are a true devotee of Sola Fide and Calvinism, you have no choice but to say that Bob goes to heaven and Theresa goes to hell.

    The only thing that matters is an assent of faith. To be a Christian is to worship Christ as Lord and Savior and that worship is only possible with an assent of faith. Free will demands that you make a choice to accept and worship Christ.

    Yes?

    Isn't it ironic that some of these same people accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary despite the fact that there is a complete abscence of, even an open denial to, such a assent of worship of Her?

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  16. Dear Micahel,
    If you suggest that the woman in your story goes to Heaven because of her good works, then you are wrong; not because I say so, but because the Bible is clear that faith in Christ and not works gives one eternal life.

    If you are also suggesting that my "fundamental view" is a magical formula one may profess, and then live like the devil, then re-read Romans 5-6. Genuine saving faith should generate an inward, entirely spiritual transformation in an individual.

    If you believe that you can spot someone on their way to Heaven because of their good works, then many people of opposing religions who want nothing to do with Christ must be on their way as well.

    You misunderstand my position, because you intentionally misunderstand salvation by grace.

    Works cannot be involved in one's salvation; I will not re-quote the scriptures to you because they do not seem to avail. You are not being subject to the Spirit of God, who revealed that men are saved only by faith in His Son.

    Good works come from the hearts of saved men, and add nothing to their salvation's security; they are fruit born out of love for their God.

    If you are defending worship of Mary, you should pray to God to forgive you for this idolatry; no one but God is worthy of prayers or worship. Mary was a vessel God used to accomplish His goal of coming in the flesh.

    Why do you resist grace? And why won't you answer my arguments? Is it because you can't, from the Bible? Sincerely, Ian.

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  17. Dear Ian,

    Dry water and cold fire. Do Catholics believe we can earn Salvation?

    In a word, no.

    In fact, those who claim we do think that are making a wholly disingenuous argument based on false dilemma.

    That false dilemna is that salvation is either by faith alone or by works alone.

    Let's start with that with which all protestants and catholics agree.

    1) Man is fallen.

    2) Man cannot save himself.

    3) Man needs a Savior.

    4) Jesus is the only one qualified for the job.

    Some Fundamentalists act as if Catholics don't understand who Salvation comes from. Ironic, since they also condemn us for the fact that we supposedly spend to much time commemorating the Crucifixion - the defining act making salvation available to us.

    True, the Resurrection completes it and codifies it but the Resurrection is of little value to us without the Crucifixion.

    Nevertheless, all Christians agree that the availability of Salvation is manifested, to the world, through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.

    The price has been paid and the money put in the bank account. We call this part of the process Redemption.

    Redemption is available to every person on earth. That is, there are sufficient funds in the bank to cover the salvation of every person.

    Hebrews 9:12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

    More>>>

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  18. Dear Michael,
    I do not doubt your sincerity or devotion, but what you just stated flies in the face of some of the plainest confessions in Catholic dogma. Trent and Vatican II put forward that justification is not solely by faith; works are an integral part of this system.

    If you reject salvation by works then you must acknowledge that salvation is solely by God: both its inception and retention.

    "If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema." This is Rome's doctrine.
    Salvation by works; otherwise the word "debt" which implies work to relieve said debt, would not be used. Rome's teaching is clear: God won't do it alone; man must help.

    The mere act of including the necessity of entering the Romish church is a work, since so many Popes have stated that outside of that institution there is no salvation; yet entering this institution gives the illusion that you are in fact, by your actions (not simple faith in Christ), entering into life. Only faith in Christ saves, and it saves forever; no local church affiliation needed.

    I have said all that I care to say, my friend. I will no longer debate, when I see this is devolving into an intellectual boxing match. You are more than welcome to explore my Blog if you still wish to discern my beliefs; though I feel I have stated them clearly. Your friend, Ian.

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  19. I have said all that I care to say, my friend. I will no longer debate..

    Dear Ian,
    Giving up already, where's your perseverance? Are you frightened of the truth (Roman Catholic Truth)?

    The Bible Tells Us That There Is No Salvation For Those Who Do Not Believe In Its Teaching!

    Romans 15:5-6,
    "Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind, one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: Romans 15:6. That with one mind and with one mouth you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Are those 39,000 sects of one mind?

    Well if they were, there would be only one, not 39,000 with all teaching the same truth and not teaching something different from one another.

    More>>>

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  20. I wish to add to this discussion with a request to Michael Gormley to kindly consider my contribution, with a hope that it will be received gratefully, and be found helpful.
    I was born a Roman Catholic and grew up in this faith. Therefore I got to understand the meaning of all the sacraments of the Church's Catechism. Particularly on the issue of Transubstantiation, the turning of the bread and wine into the literal Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
    As I grew into my teenage years, I became aware of the maddening impossibility to stay in God's grace, let alone trying to please Him. It was no surprise that my Catholic upbringing turned into Atheism, which I suppose, was a way of expressing my anger at God for the loss of his grace every time I committed a mortal sin. And of course, I was never sure how many venial sins I commit on a daily basis that would have added up to becoming a mortal sin. That was before I was converted to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour in 1973, aged 20.
    While sitting in a sauna one Saturday, I became acquainted with a builder who whose current stream of foul language (without anger) became a soreness for my ears. After a while I asked him what he thought of Jesus Christ. His answer was interesting. Anger flared up as he admitted his membership of the Catholic Church, and his frustration in his early years trying to stay in line with the Church's teachings. It was a testimony I could relate to.
    You (Michael) gave an interesting case of Bob and Theresa, whether they were a literal couple or just an illustration, the same can apply to either. Theresa may indeed have been sincere and devoted her whole life to the Catholic Church, but she only need to nurture an ungodly thought or hold a grudge (refusal to forgive) another person, and she is undone. She has broken the Law, and Justice must be paid. And since she would be unable to pay, she would be separated from God forever. It is a dire situation every human being finds himself in. It's like being at a bottom of a well. It is impossible to climb out because the well is wide, the wall is vertical and slippery. There is no hope of getting out unless someone above lowers a bucket on a rope. Getting into the bucket is all the victim could do. It takes the person above to turn the crankshaft and haul the victim out.
    By dying on the Cross, Jesus Christ paid in full Infinite Justice for our sins. Therefore we are set free.
    In the case of Bob, Theresa's husband, he was never a believer. In fact this is a way to tell whether a person who profess to be a Christian is genuine. A genuine believer will NEVER fall away because he is kept by the power of God. When a sinner repents, he becomes a new person altogether, an action known as regeneration, or a new birth.
    It is so unfortunate that the local church is made up of both believers and unbelievers. John the apostle recognised this and wrote in his first letter that the sign of being a false convert is to depart from the faith (the proper meaning of "leaving us"). With persecution from the Jews and from the heathen during ancient times, no false professor would stay long in the church. It can only be the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer who could empower him to stay true to the Lord even to the point of death. In short, perseverance is not a human strength, but a supernatural power.
    Now just one more thing to consider, which is right at the beginning of human history.
    Soon after Adam and Eve fell into sin, they made garments of fig leaves for themselves. This is a good symbol for trying to get right with God by their own actions. God had absolutely no regard for their fig leaves. Fig leaves has always been religion. Instead, God himself killed an animal and clothed them with its skin. Here blood was shed and a life was taken. Just as it took the shedding of blood of a slain animal to cover their nakedness, so with us, it took the shed blood of a Lamb slain to cover our nakedness.
    Yours in Jesus Christ,
    Frank Blasi

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  21. Frank Blasi said...
    ....which I suppose, was a way of expressing my anger at God for the loss of his grace every time I committed a mortal sin.

    Dear Frank,
    Theologians assert that every mortal sin is in itself an infinite evil, and is an infinite affront to the divine majesty. It is an offence of such magnitude that neither the tongue of angels nor of men is capable of describing it.

    It will be understood, therefore, that as in every mortal sin there is malice of so deep a dye, it must deeply wound the Divine Heart of Jesus, and provoke Him to just anger against the individual who has been guilty of that sin.

    And in order that it may be more apparent how just the ire of God is, when roused by mortal sin, it will be well to explain more clearly how great is the insult offered to God by wilful sin.

    Imagine the three divine persons of the Most Holy Trinity to be on one side, with their infinite treasures of grace and glory, and on the other side the spirit of evil with all the punishments and torments of hell; and a man standing in the midst between the two, debating within himself whether he should show honor to God by doing His will, or whether he should act in violation of His will, and thereby cause the devil to rejoice.

    If the man commits the sin, he acts towards God, and God regards his action, exactly as if he uttered these blasphemous words, or others of the same nature:

    "I do indeed believe, 0 God, that I was created by Thy almighty power, redeemed by Thy mercy, made a child of preference by Thy bounty, I know that Thou hast promised me eternal life, all the sweetest bliss of heaven.

    I am also well aware that this accursed Satan, Thy great enemy and mine, is prepared to strip me of all that is good, and hurl me down into everlasting destruction.

    And yet because Satan tempts me now, because he suggests to me a thought of unchastity, a desire for revenge, a movement of envy, I choose rather to yield to this impulse and thereby render myself deserving of everlasting punishment, than resist and repel the evil suggestion and thus merit heaven hereafter and spiritual graces new.

    Therefore, I deliberately, and of my own free will, turn from Thee, O God; I follow by choice this hateful demon, whom I obey in preference to Thee."


    Such blasphemies as these words express are terrible, and cannot be read without a shudder. Yet every man who willfully and in defiance of God's law commits a mortal sin is guilty of blaspheming God in the like manner.

    What wonder, then, that God is so deeply offended by mortal sin. But we have not yet shown the full extent of the malice of sin---it goes still farther; it is doubly offensive to God because the sinner not only manifests contempt for God the Father, he also sets at naught His beloved Son, the Second Person of the divine Trinity.

    By every wilful sin he seems to say: "It is true Thou didst become man for me, Thou didst seek for me for three and thirty years, as a sheep that was lost; Thou didst endure, hunger and thirst, heat and cold, and all manner of hardships for my sake, whilst Satan has done nothing of the sort for me; on the contrary, he pursues me day and night and strives to ensnare me.

    In spite of this I prefer to belong to him rather than to Thee. I prefer to please him, and grieve Thee."

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"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2nd Timothy 3:16.

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